The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation broke ground yesterday on a $750,000 soccer field and park on the San Felipe Pueblo in New Mexico – creating the first recreational facility in the pueblo’s history.
“The support for the construction of San Felipe’s soccer field and park is an example of how the proceeds of the NB3 Foundation Challenge and the work of the foundation are seeking to create access and opportunities for Native American youth and their families by helping them be more physically active and healthy,” says foundation founder Notah Begay III. “This field of dreams, which the Pueblo has waited nearly 10 years for, will also help to bolster NB3 Foundation’s efforts through the San Felipe Soccer Club and increase the numbers of San Felipe youth and parent volunteers who participate in the soccer program.”
The foundation supplied $500,000 and the pueblo committed $250,000. The facility will provide a home for the San Felipe Soccer club with the NB3 Foundation began in 2005 for more than 200 young people in the pueblo. The idea is to provide a venue not just for San Felipe, but for neighboring pueblos, and also for soccer games and tournaments with teams in Albuquerque and Bernalillo. It’s not just for team sports – the park will have walking paths, too.
It’s all part of an effort by Begay, four-time PGA tour winner, to promote health and wellness through sport in Native communities. Begay, who is Navajo, Isleta and San Felipe, is the only full-blooded Native American on the tour.
“Our hope is that the facility will encourage both adults and youth alike to make use of the field and walking trails in order to increase their physical activity,” he says.
The NB3 Foundation credits the San Felipe grant to the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians of California and the Oneida Indian Nation of New York. Those tribes sponsor the foundation’s annual NB3 Challenge golf tournament in New York, which last year included Tiger Woods, Camilo Villegas and Mike Weir and raised about $1.2 million to support the foundation’s mission.
Tags: buffalo post, Camilo Villegas, golf, Gwen Florio, Isleta Pueblo, Mike Weir, Native American news, Navajo, NB3, NB3 Foundation, NB3 Foundation Challenge, Notah Begay III, Oneia Indian Nation, PGA, San Felipe Pueblo, San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, Tiger Woods